General Books/Reading Discussion

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Oct 04, 2017 9:35 pm

and now a moment of comic relief: in a KPD (Communist Party, for those whose avatar is not Che Guevara :)) educational pamphlet from 1932, we can read this:
Who is Hitler? Hitler was until recently a governmental administrator in Braunschweig. He is leader of the Nazis. The party, which under the instructions of the capitalists, beats up workers.

The first note refers to the ruse under which Hitler was appointed IIRC a Braunschweig councilor posted to Berlin or some such - on gaining his post Hitler immediately asked for and received a leave of absence - in order to qualify for German citizenship. The last point relies on the KPD's equation of fascism with monopoly capitalism in its aggressive, moribund phase.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:12 pm

Image
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:37 pm

I finished Swett's book on violence in Red Berlin during the early '30s. Four points she makes are

1) the extent to which some of the political violence - the day to day street fighting, barroom brawls, assaults after political meetings, turf defense - were grassroots and particularly (her study looks most closely at the KPD) how KPD members and supporters paid little heed to directives and policies from the party; she shows that KPD policy on the use of violence during this period was uncertain but mostly against the kind of street fighting that developed; and she shows that grassroots violence was not very programmatic, not ideological, and often not sanctioned by the party's leadership and policy;

2) the quantity of male grievance over a feeling of lost masculinity, power in the family and community, success in work and life in general channeled into both left and right paramilitary expression;

3) the NSDAP and KPD members and supporters in working-class Berlin neighborhoods - that is, the radicals - fairly frequently switched allegiances; and

4) how the almost ubiquitous violence - involving only 1000s of people, not 10s of 1000s - became a norm, to some extent accepted even by courts as the manner in which politics were done, and how the widespread use of violent methods led to results counter to the aims of those involved, especially on the left; her argument isn't simply that the right-leaning authorities cracked down on the left but a) that the violence itself - aiming to maintain and enhance neighborhood autonomy - brought the opposite, that is, all manner of interventions from a variety of officials (from police to welfare agencies) into neighborhood life and b) that the acceptance of political violence came to help the far right (the NSDAP was viewed as a respectable party and its promise of order was taken seriously, the violence fostered yearning for order, violent solutions when employed by the Nazis in power were more accepted given the pervasive nature of violence in the preceding years)

Swett depicts the SPD as backward-looking and unable to adapt to the conditions and changes of the Depression years; the KPD organizationally and politically comes off as minimally effective and "threatening" compared to the party's rhetoric and reputation (the KPD could not, according to Swett, control its membership and was compelled to respond to grassroots radicalism throughout the period).

I will be reading more about this period and the topic; Swett almost completely ignores larger-scale violence related to election campaigns, mass meetings, and the like, which IMO to some extent undermines her arguments.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:26 pm

one additional point, which (I don't know the history of the KPD that well) may relate to lingering influence of Rosa Luxemburg, which Swett makes is that for the KPD the favored tactic to which they tried, not very successfully, to get their base to favor was mass action, in particular in the form of mass strikes, not the kind of violence that overtook Red neighborhoods in Berlin during the early '30s . . . the KPD, according to Swett, was not capable even of leading such mass action (in part due to the scattering effect of unemployment and the druthers of its followers), let alone able to bring off the feared Bolshevik-style revolution . . .
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:21 pm

I'm reading a bit more, in between photography work, on the battles for the streets in late Weimar Germany. Also sitting next to me is a short stack of books on the nature of fascism. However, the big news is this: the arrival from Jeff Bezos within the next several days of 1) Jasch, The Participants: The Men of the Wannsee Conference and 2) Rudberg, The Swedish Jews and the Holocaust (Routledge Studies in Second World War History). I also have Kellerhoff, The Reichstag Fire: The Case Against the Nazi Conspiracy. Therefore, my reading schedule has become uncertain :)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:33 am

Pretty psyched about The Participants. Each chapter is a biographical sketch and evaluation of one of the Wannsee Conference participants written by a scholar expert in that man’s life and works. The volume is introduced by Mark Roseman, author of a book on the conference, writing on the biographical approach. To give a flavor of the thing, Browning has the chapter on Martin Luther, Jasch (author of a study of Stuckart) gets, well, Stuckart, Gerwarth (Heydrich’s biographer) has Heydrich, Stangneth (Eichmann Before Jerusalem) writes on Eichmann, and Klein (of Angrick & Klein) takes who else but Rudolf Lange - and so on. I will report on the book in the monster Wannsee thread.
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:52 am

I picked up a copy of "A Nation on Trial, the Goldhagen Thesis and Historical Truth" by Norman Finkelstein. It was his reply to "Hitler's Willing Executioners."

I thought it might be interesting and it's from the library. Sadly, it did not live up to expectations so I'm sending it back.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:33 am

Or ... it did meet expectations :)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:Or ... it did meet expectations :)


About as much as anything that told me what I already knew in the most boring way imaginable.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:07 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:This will be of interest to Denying-History:

https://www.amazon.com/Red-Famine-Stalins-War-Ukraine/dp/0385538855


Probably ask for this for Christmas.


Actually, available through my library. I got an electronic copy of this tonight.

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Denying-History » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:13 am

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:This will be of interest to Denying-History:

https://www.amazon.com/Red-Famine-Stalins-War-Ukraine/dp/0385538855


Probably ask for this for Christmas.


Actually, available through my library. I got an electronic copy of this tonight.

My copy arrived on October 10th. I finished it a few nights ago and its pretty solid.
« Oral history is a complex field. After all, memory can be a distorting mirror, as anyone who has ever worked with memoir literature knows very well...They may be imperfect, and, at times, inaccurate as the narrator tries to cast himself in the most favorable light, but all sources are imperfect. Even an archival document reflects how the person who drafted it understood something and remains something less than the unvarnished truth. »
- James Mace

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:52 pm

Started reading today Pontus Rudberg, The Swedish Jews and the Holocaust (2017).
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927

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Re: General Books/Reading Discussion

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:57 am

from the Wannsee thread:
Statistical Mechanic wrote:. . . one point that stands out . . . is the emigration stop order, which came in October 1941 . . .

By coincidence I read this in the introduction to Rudberg's book on Swedish Jews and the Holocaust, where the author establishes a periodization of German Judenpolitik in order to set context for policy and response changes in Sweden: 1) initial persecution to Kristallnacht in November 1938, 2) Kristallnacht to start of the war, when Sweden set a new visa requirement for entry to the country, 3) "outbreak of war until the German ban on emigration in October 1941 that definitively marked the shift from persecutions, terror and forced migration to genocide," and 4) emigration ban through end of war. (p 18, no citation)
"World peace is certainly an ideal worth striving for; in Hitler's opinion it will be realizable only when one power, the racially best one, has attained complete and uncontested supremacy. That can then provide a sort of world police, seeing to it at the same time that the most valuable race is guaranteed the necessary living space. And if no other way is open to them, the lower races will have to restrict themselves accordingly."

- Rudolf Hess, letter, 1927


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